Phono stage comparisons

Its all about the Inductance of the Cartridge and what effect it has, combined with the Capacitive load.

My understanding is this. Classic MM carts, like say a Shure M75, have a resonance which is in the high part of the audio range. The ‘right’ Capacitance will tame this.

MC carts still have such a HF resonance, but because their Inductance is lower, the resonance is at a much higher frequency, beyond the audio range. So they are less affected by Capacitance.

YMMV, etc… :crazy_face:

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yes and the NSC222, but Naim finally moved to 100pF with the Nait 50 and the NVC-TT boards.

I agree with your general outline that the right pairings of phono board and cartridge should be auditioned (which alas is not so easy to do at dealers). From what I read here different ears prefer different pairings in different systems. Example the Linn Adikt with Naim 470pF phono in the Nait 2 was a big no-no here, somewhat better with the Nait XS3, yet others rave about the pairing.

So a lot of trial-and-error involved I’m afraid, but when you get it right for you it’s great!

This is my Japanese-built Ortofon ST-7 MC step up transformer between my LP12/ARO/Linn Troika and Nait50. A great little combo!

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Interesting, I was also recommended the ST-7 over a Fono/Aria by my Rega dealer. I was told in demos many of their customers prefer the MC via step-up into MM over the MC phono.

All I know is that Ortofon has started promoting step-ups again for a while now for their SPU series. Available from dealers here so no need to find vintage ones like the ST-5 inlines and AT step-ups regularly depicted here on the forum. And that custom step-ups is a big thing in Asia.

I have not listened to them yet, how did you come up with the ST-7 @graham55 ?

I had bought an ARO which had been rewired and refurbished by Linn (not Naim), and it came with a knackered Linn Troika at no extra cost - a cartridge that I had always regretted not owning. I sent the Troika to David Giffin at Goldring to be rebuilt/refurbished, and set about finding a step up transformer, and I found the Ortofon ST-7 online from Japan.

It’s a fantastic combination.

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Of course, if it really bothers someone, there is a simple solution. But forum rules stop us saying what that is. But I think it’s obvious.

Mine doesn’t sound particulalrly rolled off. And indeed I’m using a cartridge that was reviewed well when used on the same turntable and a SN3 phonostage as having a natural synergy so I’m happy to leave things as they are. Certainly, when I go from my NDX to my turntable on a StageLine N I don’t think, where did my top end go?

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